The bodies of two Langley Secondary School students who went missing April 21 were found Monday in Nicola Lake.
The families had hired Gene and Sandy Ralston of Idaho, who specialize in water recoveries, after police ended their search for Austin Kingsborough and Brendan Wilson.
“It sounded like the couple that came from Idaho began their search yesterday (Sunday) until it got dark,” said Merritt RCMP Cpl. Tracy Dunsmore. “They were out first thing this morning (Monday). One of the family members said they had had a hit. At that point it became a coroner’s investigation.”
The two longtime friends, both 17 and Grade 12 LSS students, had been at the Wilson family property at Nicola Lake, near Merritt. When they did not return home as expected for supper on Sunday, April 21, their families alerted police. The next morning, an overturned canoe was found on the lake.
The Ralstons began their search on Sunday, and searched all day. When the search resumed Monday morning, they found the bodies fairly quickly, in about 75 feet of water.
The bodies were recovered from Nicola Bay, near where the canoe had been located.
The families did not hold out much hope after the formal search ended, family friend Scott Lebus said last week.
They hired the Ralstons because of their expertise in recovering drowning victims. They have recovered 84 drowning victims using their unique equipment.
The two teens, who were also well-known in Langley Minor Hockey circles, had many friends at LSS and the school community was deeply affected by the tragedy. Students put together a number of fundraisers under the name “Pray for the Boys,” selling T-shirts and bracelets.
The Langley Rotary Club has formed a partnership to help the families with expenses. It has been opened up at CIBC. Those interested can go to any branch and quote branch #02120, account #1000314.
Cans and bottles can be taken to the Langley Recycling Depot (on Industrial Ave.) and the funds put in the #Prayfortheboys account.
– with files from the Merritt Herald